Friday, September 11, 2009

Beck's Distraction: ACORN, Prostitution, and The Right Wing Campaign

Last night I was watching Glenn Beck and I noticed he shifted gears to ACORN supporting prostitution.  I was intrigued and so I proceeded to watch.

He showed video secretly taken by a couple of young journalists in Baltimore pretending to be a pimp and his prostitute trying to get housing to set up shop, with the ACORN employee fully supporting them, and at times advising them around the law.  The two young journalists were James O'Keefe, a conservative activist, film maker, and columnist, Hannah Giles.  When I listened to how the program proceeded, the language used was very interesting.

I would first like to mention that this scenario is horrible, and that I would hope that this does become a legal investigation against the people involved, but I would also like to mention that this is not representative of the entire organization.  Some Catholic priests touched little boys, but not all Catholic priests are molesters.  Some Republicans have been involved in gay or marital scandals, but not all Republicans are homosexual or lecherous.  To say all ACORN workers are thugs is not representative of the entire population.  With Glenn Beck perpetuating the idea that ACORN is a government sanctioned mafia, with everybody within the organization as being corrupt, then I can use that logic to make claims that all Republicans are homosexuals who cheat on their wives, or that all priests molest little children, but I cannot make such comments because I know them to be false.

Back to the interview, I noticed a couple things.  First, on September 9th, Glenn Beck mentioned that Fox had an exclusive segment and that no other journalists were covering this story, and no other station was investigating or telling the truth, so Beck and the people at Fox were going to tell you the "truth as we know it".  I thought that was interesting: "the truth as we know it".  Although a seemingly innocuous comment, I thought it was intriguing.  It is like a license to say whatever you want because you believe it to be true.  On September 10th's program Glenn Beck discussed more about the prostitution scandal, and stated again that no other news program was showing the story he was about to air, and that the only ones who were giving the story the light of day was The National Review, The Wall Street Journal, and Fox News, the latter two being owned by News Corporation, headed by Rupert Murdoch.          

In addition to which news agencies were reporting this story, I thought it was interesting because of who the reporter, Hannah Giles, was.  She had mentioned that she was not familiar with ACORN, but she heard poor things about them (presumably from Fox), and decided to bait them to prove they are thugs.  At the end of the program, Beck said you can find this all on Big Government.  I decided to visit that site and saw that the website was presented by Andrew Breitbart.  That name rang a bell.  After thinking long and hard, I remember that Andrew Breitbart has another website, titled Big Hollywood, which also rang a bell.  The reason why was because this website was mentioned during Beck's program where he accused the National Endowment for the Arts of being a propaganda wing of the administration, citing exclusive information provided by filmmaker, marketer, and art community consultant Patrick Courrielche, who also happens to be an author for Big Hollywood..

What is interesting about Big Government is that it is brand new, debuting on September 10th, although video clips premiered on Glenn Beck's program on September 9th.  Glenn Beck is constantly lambasting liberal bloggers and the liberal media, but it seems that Beck is establishing his own right wing media circle to pull stories from, to try and legitimize his own program, in addition to the rotation of commentators on each others shows (O'Reilly, Hannity, Beck, Van Susteren, etc.).

Although I dislike accusations that Glenn Beck is contributing to a smear campaign against his foes, such as Van Jones, ACORN, and any other distraction from the real issues, only because it seems that that complaint can be quickly thrown to the wayside, it is increasingly looking as if he blends his facts with his fiction, to come up with a negative story against whomever he dislikes.  Someone affiliated with ACORN may have done something wrong, and the organization has had problems in the past, but not to the extent that Beck attributes to them, elevating them to something you would see in a Jimmy Hoffa movie.  Maybe other networks are not reporting on this because it was touched by the far from credible hand of Fox News first.

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